BC Hydro has announced it is proceeding with a number of monitoring contracts approved in the Water Use Plan (WUP) for Whatshan hydroelectric project in British Columbia, Canada. The contracts will assist with the recommended operational changes, physical works and provide baseline information for future operating decisions at the project.
The Whatshan WUP Consultative Committee reached a consensus agreement on a package of operation changes and monitoring programme. The goal is to achieve fish, wildlife, and recreational improvements in both the reservoir and river.
The Consultative Committee outlined the key interests in the Whatshan WUP that included cultural/heritage, fish, power generation, public safety, recreation/aesthetics, tourism/commercial, water quality and wildlife.
‘We are in the stage where we are implementing the monitoring works after BC Hydro received an Order from the Comptroller of Water Rights on July 14, 2005 accepting the draft Whatshan WUP,’ said Al Laidlaw, Senior Environmental Coordinator.
As part of the implementation of the monitoring programme several contracts have been awarded that cover following areas:
* Lower Whatshan river fish habitat effectiveness.
* Reservoir vegetation.
To improve recreation at Whatshan Reservoir, the Inonoaklin Recreation Site Boat Launch was extended to improve boat access to the reservoir each year from April throughout the summer.
The Whatshan WUP was formally initiated in March 2002 and concluded in May 2003. The Whatshan WUP Consultative Committee recommended a formal review of the plan in ten years.
The Whatshan project is located on the Whatshan river within the central Kootenay Regional District, near the community of Edgewood in south central British Columbia. The project consists of a 7m high earthfill saddle dam and a 12m high concrete dam. A 3.4km partially lined tunnel connects the power intake on Whatshan Lake reservoir to the project’s 50MW power house located on the west shore of Arrow Lakes reservoir.